Sunday, June 03, 2007

Uthiri Pookal -- Movie Review

Uthiri Pookal is one movie that gets quoted so often when popular directors talk about the best tamil movie ever made. It piqued my curiosity and after a long search, I was finally able to get hold of a copy(Moserbaer is selling original VCD's for Rs.28 these days!!!) I guess it is not an exaggeration to say that this movie deserves all the credit that has come its way.


It is always a tricky proposition to come up with a negative character as the hero of a movie. It is as risky as walking on thin ice. One wrong move and you are destined for a nasty fall. Mahendran does this balancing act with so much elan that it leaves you spellbound to the script. The fact that Vijayan is not portrayed as the stereotypical villain adds to the authenticity of his character. What transpires on screen is a battle between a person who is sensitive enough to deeply love his kids and a person who can ruthlessly do anything to attain the things he has set his eyes on.

The effort that has gone into etching each of the character of the movie pays rich dividend as it adds a lot of value to the storyline. The screenplay is something that many of the present day directors can use as an example while writing their scripts. With a solid storyline, the onus was on the screenplay to make the movie interesting. The scenes are neatly placed that one scene gels into the next one very smoothly and without any hiccups. The tight closeup shots of the lead characters during the highly charged scenes shows the faith the director had in his actors and the actors have repaid the faith with some brilliant performances.

The scenes where Vijayan slaps Aswini or Sarathbabu are not shown directly but are shown in a subtle and beautiful way. The sound followed by the heroine holding her hands to her face or Sarathbabu washing away the blood in the river are artistic and shows the director's ability to think beyond the ordinary. One another unsung hero of this movie is Illayaraaja. For each character, he comes up with a brilliant theme music. Be it the ominous sounding tabla for Vijayan or the soft & sad music for Aswini or the funky bits for the second heroine, Illayaraaja proves his mettle in the BGM department.

This is a movie about human relations, love and the fall from grace of a person possessed by greed. A movie that should be watched for the sheer narrative style and honest story telling. A classic indeed!

Rating: 9/10

5 comments:

Shiva Venkat said...

I watched this movie in BBC Channel Four four years back. Nice movie and master piece ending scene.

It is told that when 'Veena' S. Balachander saw this movie he told that if Mahendran tried to do the same movie it will be impossible for him to repeat .

Such is the combination of a rare work of art!!

Steve said...

I'm watched Uthiri Pookal yesterday in our Malaysian local channel.Nice movie with excellent background scores of Illaiyaraja and Director Mahandran's another superb masterpiece after "Mullum Malarum". I'm like Ashwini's soft performance.

Deepa said...

Great review.

shankar said...

This is a world class film.

Anonymous said...

You had mentioned about picking up DVD from Mosarbaer. Is it a online store or a shop? I am unable to find. Please reply.

Thank You

Sunder